Wednesday, January 28, 2009

snow sleet ice (penguins)

A snow day. Again.  Normally, I looooove these days and settle right in to life with kids so happy to be at home.  Well, I actually loved today and we did make my friend Catherine's soft pretzels when I was taking a work break, but that is just it, I had to work.  Had to! There have been a string of days that normally would've been school days but have turned out not to be, for one reason or another, and I keep saying 'oh well', and ditching work responsibilities, because the kids need attention, of course, and so it looks like my hookie days are pretty much used up. Well, the pretzels rocked anyway.

This crazy weather day kept us all inside.  I didn't go out once.  Only Jonny had the opportunity, poor fella, and came in from plowing and plowing covered in a sheet of ice and steamed glasses. Speaking of ice... Hmmm,  I'm trying to segue to a sharing of a lovely collaboration between my daughter and me but the only thing I can think of is the relationship between ice and snow and penguins.  So...

Last year I was developing a feature about making easy jewelry for Family Fun Magazine and this is one of the ideas we used in the article.  Ava drew the picture and I mod podged it onto something called a "dangle" which I found in the button section of JoAnn Fabrics.  I wear this ALOT.  The shell dangle is about a 2" diameter and I get a lot of compliments on it.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

oh happy day

Though a couple days in, I haven't had a moment to comment here about the party going on in my heart and on my face every time I think about Obama's inauguration and every single thing I have heard him say since that day. I made a commitment, a real honest to goodness promise, that I would keep open and hopeful, and avoid the easy slip into a cynical mode that many of us are accustomed to after such a long haul. Somebody said to me today that they felt patriotic on Inauguration day, then they felt weird for that patriotism- not actually being familiar with the sensation/emotion prior to this day. She's in good company, and she was before too. I do hope that we will collectively learn what it really means to contribute as Americans, as a culture of many cultures, and begin to heal the genuine spirit of this beautiful country and world.
Yes I AM!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

winter gifts

We are in the height of winter- and, boy, it could not be a more wintery winter. Something about winter makes me fully understand how fortunate I am. Laura Ingalls and her view of the icy roofing nails above her bed is an image that often comes to mind as I sit in my cozy cozy cozy house, while our new weather station spins on the shed roof declaring single digit temps. Thank you Jonny for building such a tight home and not being a mad man like Charles Ingalls who had a restlessness that kept his family on the move and not exactly out of harms way.

After making doughnuts for Hanukkah this year, Jonny made an oil lamp with the cooking oil,a ball jar, a growler cap, some pieces of cork, and an old sock (the good and industrious side of Charles?). Here Ava plays her recorder for us in its glow.

So, I love this time of year. When we aren't happy enough to be inside drinking coffee, making things of one kind or another, or eating too much with dear friends, then we take the half hour required to get everyone in their gear and out we head out into the crisp coldness of our New England playground. We are fortunate, again, to live on a lake and the skating can make the summer mosquitoes seem almost worth crazy swatting and fretting. When the snow is too thick for skating, then we just play, walk, make angels, or use it to cross over to the orchard for some more daring adventures.

Tobogganing anyone?

It is my intention to document and share the things I make. I think I will go back in time a bit and show off what we made for some holiday gifts.

For teachers we made beeswax filled walnut shells that float. I etched some glasses I got at the Salvation Army and they were so pretty. See...

Ava and her friend made these beautiful jersey scarves with freezer paper stencils. They are for the Aunties' necks.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a New Year's first post

A Happy New Year. My first post, which I am realizing is the manifestation of some unspoken- until now- resolution for the expanse of a year that is placed before me. Why not? I am a person who is forever up for improvements and seeking inspiration wherever it may bubble up. I have found so much of that inspiration in the blogesphere and want to add my thoughts and experience to the conversation.

I live in a home a super-duper creative types. My husband, a man spilling over with vision and ideas, a 9 year old daughter whose art and writing never ceases to floor me, and a 4 year old son who can create personae with boas, tutus, swords and hard hats like no other I've seen (I imagine those flamboyant costumes are generally isolated to the privacy of people's homes).

My family (well, my husband) is in the process of starting up a hard cider business. We have a 38 acre orchard and have planted 1500 trees desirable for hard cider. We acquired the orchard about 5 years ago, planted the new block of cider trees this past spring('08), and used our recently erected 100 year old cider press for the first time a few weeks ago (with apples we bought from an orchardist in Vermont who had the varieties we wanted). It was a great! A huge step in the whole story and now my cider obsessed man, Jonathan, has about 100 gallons of juice to ferment into something truly beautiful. Really, his cider is goo-ood. Take a look at our press and a bit of the process.
Check out my little shop on called a golden apple. I have been making skirts out of 100% cotton jersey fabric cut from clothing I bought at the Salvation Army. I decorate them by doing reverse applique and they are the most comfortable and flattering things ever (not to mention super cute!). Here are a few pictures of them.

a golden apple